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Companies Pay N11.5tn Tax Under Buhari – Report

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The Federal Government has raked in N11.5tn from taxes paid by business organisations under the administration of Muhammadu Buhari (retd), findings have revealed.

Data sourced from Company Income Tax reports published by the National Bureau of Statistics between 2015 and 2022 showed CIT collected by the Federal Inland Revenue Service stood at N1.3tn when the President assumed office in 2015 and dipped by 26 per cent to N1tn in 2016 when the country’s economy went into recession due a significant drop in oil prices.

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It maintained an upward trajectory between 2017 and 2020, as the government generated a total of N5.3tn during this period.

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Companies Income Tax is a tax on the profits of incorporated entities in Nigeria. It also includes the tax on the profits of non-resident companies carrying on business in Nigeria. The tax is paid by limited liability companies inclusive of the public limited liability companies. It is commonly referred to as a corporate tax.

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The CIT rate is 30 per cent for large companies (i.e. companies with gross turnover greater than NGN 100m), assessed on a preceding year basis (i.e. tax is charged on profits for the accounting year ending in the year preceding assessment).

The Federal Government earned N1.6tn from corporate tax in 2021 and made a record N2tn revenue from CIT in the three quarters of last year.

According to the data, the highest contributors to the CIT were the manufacturing, Information Communication Technology and financial services sectors.

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Also a critical evaluation of 2022’s Company Income Tax records showed a significant hike in taxes paid by companies across the board.

For example, tax from firms in the information and communication sector rose by 158.51 per cent from N51.05bn in the third quarter of 2021 to N131.97bn in the corresponding period in 2022.

In the same vein, manufacturers paid the most taxes during the period in review, as the Federal Government increased the number of taxes collectable by the Federal Inland Revenue Services from 39 to 61 items.

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READ ALSO: 2023: Now Is Time For North To Repay Tinubu’s Support – Shettima

Some of the new taxes as contained in the schedule to the taxes and levies (Approved list for collection) Act (Amendment Order), 2015, include “national information technology development levy, economic development levy, environmental (ecological) fee or levy; inter-state road taxes; mining, milling and quarrying fee; infrastructure maintenance charge; social services contribution tax, and wharf landing fee where applicable.

Others are entertainment tax, produce sales tax, property tax (where applicable); fire service charge; slaughter or abattoir fee, where state finance is involved, etc.”

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In the same vein, checks by The PUNCH revealed that CIT paid by manufacturers increased by 52.3 per cent from N91.2bn paid in the third quarter of 2021 to N138.9bn in the corresponding quarter of 2022.

Speaking in an interview with The PUNCH, the President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Michael Olawale-Cole, said the productive sector was being overburdened by taxes because of the government’s inability to widen the tax bracket and capture more taxpayers.

Olawale-Cole further advised the government to devise means of protecting its sources of revenue rather than resort to aggressive taxation whenever it encounters a revenue shortfall.

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He said, “So, the government needs money, but what we are saying is that the government is just putting pressure on the same people as opposed to developing to bring more people into the tax bracket. That is the major issue. There are a lot of people who are not paying taxes but are making money in this country.

“So, the government should find a way of catching them. They are improving because now government banks are linked with tax authorities. So, if income comes into your account, they have a way of knowing. They should do more of that. “This could be done through electronic means.

“We are saying they should not increase the tax rates all the time for the same people who are paying when there are more people who are not paying because if you tax them to a point, they will not be able to pay.”

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Industry experts in the ICT sector, which ranks amongst the highest contributors to the CIT, have also raised concerns that the sector was being overburdened by multiple taxes.

A report titled “Taxing Nigeria’s subnational economies to oblivion” by SBM Intelligence recently revealed that the industry suffered from over-taxation because of its sustained growth in the last 20 years.

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It said, “At the federal level, telecommunications companies are expected to pay taxes such as Companies Income Tax, the Capital Gains Tax, Withholding Taxes, Stamp Duty, National Industrial Training Fund, Employees Compensation Scheme, the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, National Housing Fund contributions, Contributory Pension Schemes, and customs duties.

“These taxes are applicable to all incorporated companies in Nigeria. There are also sector-specific taxes and levies such as the Annual Operating Levy paid to the Nigerian Communications Commission by all holders of licences issued by the regulator, the National Cybersecurity Fund, the National Information Technology Development Fund Levy and Right of Way charges.”
PUNCH

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Business

Nigerians Need Cash Now, Osinbajo Laments Naira Scarcity

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has expressed concern over difficulty experienced by Nigerians in getting the new naira notes.

The VP on Friday in Abuja met with some players in the FinTech space to explore possible ways of mitigating the hardship.

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Osinbajo urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and banks to deploy more FinTechs and money agents to the hinterlands to address the worrying situation.

The Vice President stated that Nigerians need cash to pay for transport, food, and other needs.

“In Abuja how do you take ‘drop or along’ or use a Keke NAPEP without cash, or buy foodstuff on the road or in canteens, or even buy recharge cards?

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“Parents with kids in public schools give money daily to their children for lunch, most commerce is informal, so you need cash for most things”, he said.

Osinbajo said it was disturbing that after depositing old notes, there are no new notes: “People everywhere in the urban areas and rural areas simply have no money.”

The nation’s second-in-command observed some FinTechs have mobile money licenses and should be engaged immediately.

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READ ALSO: Allow Old, New Naira Notes Coexist, APC Govs Beg Buhari

He said many of them have micro-finance bank licenses and already have a network of mobile money agents or human banks or human ATMs, as they are sometimes.

They can supervise by themselves. They can do currency swaps and open bank accounts.”

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Also on Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari met with some All Progressives Congress (APC) governors at the Presidential Villa over the nara scarcity.

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Nigeria’s External Reserves Fell By $63.62m In January

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External reserves fell by $63.62 million in January, latest figures from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, have revealed.

The CBN revealed in its data on the movement of foreign reserves that the external reserves, which ended December 30, 2022, at $37.08 billion, fell to $37.01 billion at the end of January 30, 2023.

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Nigeria’s external reserves fell by $3.43 billion in 2022 after dropping from $40.52 billion at the end of December 31, 2021.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Youths Protest Naira, Fuel Scarcity In Oyo

Earlier, Cordros Securities, in its January report, stated that the country, through its policy, has continued to sideline foreign investors at the expense of foreign earnings.

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CBN’s FX supply to the foreign exchange market segments remained significantly below before the COVUD-19 pandemic period. Meanwhile, the demand for the greenback has increased as market players continue to source for FX to fulfil and clear their outstanding obligations,” the report said.

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Emefiele’s Cashless Policy Disastrous – Shehu Sani

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Civil rights activist and former Senator representing Kaduna Senatorial District, Shehu Sani has described the cashless policy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, governor, Godwin Emefiele as disastrous and poisonous.

Sani was reacting amid hardship being experienced in withdrawal of money by bank customers leading to queues across the country.

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In a statement he issued on Friday and sent to DAILY POST, Sani wondered how public policy should be a catastrophe to people rather than being a succour.

READ ALSO: Allow Old, New Naira Notes Coexist, APC Govs Beg Buhari

He said: “The redesigning of the National currency and the cash withdrawal policy introduced by Godwin Emefiele is an economic disaster and a poisonous idea aimed at unleashing hardships on the masses of Nigerians.

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“If the Buhari administration really wants to target the few corrupt, it doesn’t have to wait this long and it doesn’t have to impoverished punish the poor. Emefiele set a forest on fire in the name of catching a few rats.”

The ex-lawmaker posited that the apex bank has become a political institution, stating that as a developing nation, economic policies such as this would have taken the status of Nigerians into cognisance.

The CBN has become a political institution and a home for serpentine and delirious economic ideas.

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“The CBN under Emefiele has become a shrine for misery and a breeding ground for penury. It has become a republic within a republic,” he said.

He queried reasons Buhari allowed the policy at the twilight of his administration, particularly in 2019 when he recontested to stop vote buying.

“Why didn’t the Buhari administration introduce the change of currency in 2019 and waited until 2023 if the CBN policy is about curbing vote buying?

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READ ALSO: JUST IN: Buhari Meets APC Governors At Villa

“Nigeria has been turned into a vast refugee camp where people queue for cash ration. Nigerians have subjected to the multiple tragedies of struggling for money, searching for money, looking for money and scratching for money.

“Nigerians used to buy Dollars at the black market, now they are also buying Naira at the black market.

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“The Ahmed Lawan led Senate has failed to checkmate the excesses and autocracy of the CBN because the leadership is in bed with it. The House of Reps have a clear and principled position on the matter”, he concluded.

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